User experience (UX) is how a person feels when interacting with a system.1
The four Cs of design for UX serve as the fundamentals in creating optimal interaction with a product or service: consistency, continuity, context, and complementary. Creating a great user experience means taking a human-centric approach to design, whether with software or hardware. “When people’s needs, behaviors, and emotions are the starting point, developers and designers are in a better position to create experiences that bring satisfaction—even joy—instead of frustration.”[i]
This applies to the multiple technologies utilized without much thought throughout a typical day. Without good UX design, any piece of tech will likely be set aside while the user moves on to something better.
Technology in healthcare is no different. Today, it’s even more critical in the wake of an especially large nursing staff shortage. Nurses and the challenges they face continue to be at the forefront of national conversation, as they are the backbone of our healthcare system.2
As healthcare is rapidly looking to technology to provide viable solutions to clinicians’ shortages, stress, and burnout, developers are seeing the importance of good user experiences to achieve high productivity. Good product design that feels natural to end users—such as the Collette Health user interface—is intended to specifically reduce observer fatigue and stress and, by extension, improve patient safety. UX designers study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at ease of use, perceived value, utility, and task performance efficiency.3
Collette Health’s virtual observation solution was designed for clinicians by a dedicated development team working closely with RNs and CCRNs to create and continually improve its system for the observers. Large screen size, ease of alarm usage, and night vision are just some components that add to a great UX in virtual observation.
Patient Observation Software’s Role
Collette Health’s patient observation software solution connects patients to virtual observers via audio and video. A mobile cart featuring cameras and two-way A/V connectivity in each patient’s room allows for simultaneous off-site observation of multiple patients. The system is beneficial for easing overworked nursing staff, as eyes are always on the patients without someone being physically present in each room. When a patient requires attention, the virtual observer has immediate access to the onsite clinician for patient care. The platform allows for a 12:1 patient-to-observer ratio. When patients at high risk for falls and adverse events are continuously monitored, their safety factor significantly increases while staff experiences less strain.
Thoughtful UX Design
Ergonomics To Fit The User
The study of individuals in their work environment, ergonomics ensure hardware is designed and modified to fit the worker rather than vice versa. Our hardware was developed to meet the user’s needs. Multiple facets were examined to create a design with optimal usage, including monitor size and the number of screens most appropriate for simultaneous viewing.
Our designers determined that 32-inch monitors with 12 video screens were ideal for central and peripheral vision. Central vision is straight-on and used to view fine detail in front of you to read, drive, and recognize faces. We rely on central vision to complete everyday tasks, including viewing videos and scanning our smartphones.8 Peripheral vision allows us to see from the corners of our eyes outside the direct line of vision without turning our heads.4
Vision fatigue can be a common effect of continuous computer monitor viewing. Our UX designers researched observer habits and comfort. Monitors larger than 32 inches caused viewers to back up and unnaturally tilt their heads to consume an entire screen’s content. With the knowledge that less head movement results in less fatigue, designers opted for a screen size that would prevent the need for observers to turn their heads.
The 32-inch monitor maximizes both central and peripheral vision capabilities. Its easy edge-to-edge viewing falls into the ideal peripheral viewing of 12 smaller videos in one panel, with another large video window serving as the central vision interaction zone. The large window serves for selecting any of the smaller videos so that the observer may communicate with that patient, signal onsite staff, and ring the on-cart alarm if necessary. During such interactions, the observer’s other patients remain in peripheral vision in the monitoring panel. This allows for easy simultaneous viewing with less risk of fatigue.
Collette Health designers’ research on video consumption determined that most individuals tend to view videos vertically on phones despite the ability to turn the device horizontally and enlarge the screen. When held vertically, the 32-inch monitor was selected to allow videos 330% larger than the average cell phone screen.
Improving Healthcare With Precision
The more observers can see, the more they can prevent. Collette Health’s virtual observation solution helps to ease staffing challenges and shortages with its well-researched and careful design that turns 1 patient observer into 12. Patient falls, and other adverse events are stopped before they can happen. With thoughtful and precise technology, virtual observation takes place with less eye and head movement for ease and comfort. The resulting enhanced user experience drives clinician satisfaction and contributes to keeping patients safer.
2“STUDY: 34% of Nurses Plan to Leave Their Current Role by the End of 2022.” Incredible Health, Incredible Health, 16 Mar. 2022, https://www. incrediblehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/IHCOVID-19-2022- Summary-1.pdf
3Gube, Jacob, et al. “What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources.” Smashing Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 5 Oct. 2010, https:// www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/what-isuser-experience-design-overview-tools-and-resources/.
4Elizabeth Yuko, PhD. “What Is Peripheral Vision?” Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 1 Nov. 2021, https://www.verywellhealth.com/peripheral-vision-5097416.